Authors: Tamera Alexander
Praise for the F
“Alexander has written a charming historical romance that features well-drawn characters and smooth, compelling storytelling that will have readers anxiously awaiting the second installment of the F
. Highly recommended. . . .”
“It’s a pleasure to read this debut book. Rich prose, a realistic setting and characters, and a compassionate story of love will keep you turning the pages long into the night. . . .”
TOP PICK (4½ stars)
“[A] tenderhearted story of redemption . . . Rarely does a debut novel combine such a masterful blend of captivating story and technical excellence. Alexander has introduced a delightful cast of winsome characters, and there’s a promise of more stories yet to be told.”
“Book two in the F
is a winner. Alexander deftly portrays the heroine’s wounded soul and her struggles with regret while being careful not to reveal anything too soon.”
“This second book in the F
reveals the power of love and forgiveness. All of the characters in the story are interesting and complex, even if they play minor roles. A warmhearted inspirational story.”
Historical Novels Review
“Tamera Alexander’s characters are real, fallible, and a marvelous reflection of God’s truth and grace. Her stories unfold layer-by-layer, drawing you in deeper with every page.”
has been named to
’s Best Books of 2006 list
and is a nominee for
’s Best Inspirational Novel of 2006.
FROM BETHANY HOUSE PUBLISHERS
Fountain Creek Chronicles
(3 in 1)
From a Distance
Beyond This Moment
Within My Heart
FOUNTAIN CREEK CHRONICLES | BOOK THREE
Copyright © 2007
Cover design by Studio Gearbox
Cover photograph by Steve Gardner, PixelWorks Studios, Inc.
Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.
Published by Bethany House Publishers
11400 Hampshire Avenue South
Bloomington, Minnesota 55438
Bethany House Publishers is a division of
Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Remembered / Tamera Alexander.
p. cm. — (Fountain Creek chronicles ; bk. 3)
ISBN-13: 978-0-7642-0110-3 (pbk.)
ISBN-10: 0-7642-0110-7 (pbk.)
1. Young women—Fiction. 2. French—Colorado—Fiction. 3. Frontier and pioneer
life—Colorado—Fiction. 4. Mining camps—Fiction. 5. Birthfathers—Identification— Fiction. 6. Fathers and daughters—Fiction. I. Title.
To Joe, with love
Thank you for Paris
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Cimetière de Montmartre, Paris, France
July 17, 1870
laid a single white rose on her mother’s grave, and bent low to whisper into the afterlife. “If somehow my words can reach you,
. . .” Her hand trembled on the cool marble. “Know that I cannot do as you have asked. Your request comes at too great—”
An unaccustomed chill traced an icy finger up her spine. Sensing she was no longer alone, Véronique rose and slowly turned.
Cimetière Montmartre’s weather-darkened sepulchers rose and fell in varying heights along the familiar cobbled walkway. Rows of senescent, discolored tombs clustered and leaned along meandering paths. Canted summer sunlight, persistent in having its way, shimmered through the leaves overhead and cast muted shadows on the white and gray marble stones.
Movement at the corner of her eye drew her focus.
There, peeking from behind a centuries-old headstone, sat a cat whose coat shared the color of ashes in a hearth.
Véronique sighed, smiling. “So I am not alone after all. You are the
The cat made no move to leave. It only stared at her, its tail flickering in the cadence of a mildly interested feline. Cats were common in Paris these days, and they were welcome. They helped to discourage the overrunning of rodents.
“He is not the only
Véronique jumped at the voice close behind her, instantly recognizing its deep timbre. “Christophe Charvet . . .” Secretly grateful for his company, she mustered a scolding look as she turned, knowing he would be disappointed if she didn’t. “Why do you still insist on sneaking up on me here?” She huffed a breath. “We are far from being children anymore, you and I.”
Contrition shadowed his eyes, as did a glint of mischief. He took her hand and brought it to his lips. “Mademoiselle Girard, be most assured that it has been many years since I have looked upon you as a child.” Playful formality laced his tone even as his expression took on a more intimate look—one Véronique remembered but considered long ago put behind them. “With the slightest sign of encouragement from you, mademoiselle—”
“Christophe . . .” She eyed him, anticipating what was coming and wishing to avoid it.
Gentle determination lined Christophe’s face. “With the slightest sign of encouragement I would, mademoiselle, for the final time, attempt to capture the heart of the woman before me as easily as I once won the heart of the young girl she once was.”
She stared up at him, not completely surprised that he was broaching this subject again—especially now, after her mother’s passing. What caught her off guard was how deeply she wished there were reason to encourage his hopes.
She’d known Christophe since the age of five, when they’d tromped naked together through the fountain of Lord Marchand’s front courtyard. Remembering how severe the punishment for that offense had been for them both, she curbed the desire to smooth a hand over the bustle of her skirt. Those escapades had extended into their youth, when after hurrying through their duties, they had raced here to explore the endless hiding places amidst this silent city of sepulchers.
She’d adored Christophe then. Of course it wasn’t until later in life that he had noticed her in that way, but by then those feelings for him had long passed and showed no sign of being resurrected.
She repeated his name again—this time more gently. “You know you are my dearest friend . . .”
A dark brow shot up. “
. . .” He grimaced. “Words every man hopes to hear from a woman he adores.”
His sarcasm tempted her to grin. But she was certain whatever rejection he felt would be short-lived. After all, he had said
He gave an acknowledging tilt of his head. “You can’t blame a man for trying, Véronique—especially when such a prize is at stake.” Resignation softened his smile. “In light of this, I hereby renew my solemn vow made to you in our twenty-sixth year as we—”
“Twenty-fifth year.” Véronique raised a single brow, remembering that particular afternoon five years ago when he’d made the promise as they strolled the grassy expanse of the Champs-Elysées.
Pardon, ma chérie
. Our twenty-fifth year.” His eyes narrowed briefly, a familiar gleam lighting his dark pupils. “I stand corrected, and will henceforth extinguish the fleeting hope that my
” —wit punctuated the words—“will finally succumb to my charm and consider altering her affections.”
With a serious sideways glance, she attempted to match his humor. “You will not regret your restraint, Christophe, for you would not be pleased with me. On that I give you my vow.” She shrugged and gave herself a dismissive gesture, secretly hoping her mother could somehow hear their exchange.
had always enjoyed their bantering, and had loved Christophe dearly. “I am like wine left too long in the cellar. I fear I have lost my sweetness and grown bitter with time’s fermenting.”
He tugged playfully at her hand, and a familiar quirk lifted his brow. “Ah, but I have learned something in my thirty years that you apparently have not, Mademoiselle Girard.” His smile turned conspiratorial.
“And what would that be,
Truth tempered the humor in his eyes. “That the finest French Bordeaux, full-bodied and rich in bouquet, does not yield from the youngest vintage,
, but from the more mature.”
Unable to think of a witty reply, Véronique chose silence instead. Christophe’s handsome looks and gentle strength had long drawn the attention of females. Why he still held a flame for her, she couldn’t imagine.
A silent understanding passed between them, and after a moment, he nodded.
He gave her hand a gentle squeeze, then bowed low and proper, mimicking the grand gesture used daily among the male servants in the Marchand household in which they’d grown up serving together. “I will henceforth resign myself to the designation I hold in your heart, Mademoiselle Girard, and I will treasure it.” He smiled briefly and added more softly, “As I always have,